Fruit Nachos

Fruit Nachos Recipe

Turn one of your favorite foods into a healthier sweet treat with this recipe. Baked corn tortillas with cinnamon provide a crunchy chip that is lower in saturated fat. They are perfect for scooping up fiber-rich fresh fruit salad. Feel free to substitute any of your favorites fruits for the ones used here.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Broiling time: 2 minutes

Ingredients

8 small corn tortillas

1 tsp olive oil

1 tbsp granulated sugar

½ tsp + 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1 Granny Smith apple, cubed

1 orange, segmented and chopped

1 medium banana, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

4 maraschino cherries, finely chopped

Directions

Preheat the broiler and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Cut each corn tortilla into 8 pie-shaped wedges and place them in a medium bowl. Pour in the olive oil, sugar and a ½ teaspoon of the cinnamon. Toss the tortillas to coat them well with the oil, cinnamon, and sugar. Place them in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Broil the tortillas for about 2 minutes. During this time you will need to watch them closely. Carefully flip them with tongs about every 30 seconds. They may brown unevenly, so remove the chips individually from the pan as each one gets browned and crispy.

In a medium bowl, stir together the apple, orange and banana. Pour in the lemon juice and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon. Toss to mix all ingredients well.

Divide the tortilla chips evenly among 4 serving plates. Top each with ¼ of the fruit salad. Sprinkle on an equal amount of chopped maraschino cherries to each plate just before serving.

Nutrition information for 1 serving: Calories 212; Total Fat 2.8 g; Saturated Fat 0.2 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 11 mg; Carbohydrate 45.4 g; Fiber 5.8 g; Sugar 17.6 g; Protein 2.8 g

Nutritious Greens to Try

bok choy

Bok choy

It’s easy to keep using the same leafy greens over and over, but you will eventually get tired of eating them. Branch out and incorporate some new nutritious greens into your healthy eating plan. These greens are full of flavor, and they can be used in a variety of ways.

Beet greens

When compared to other leafy greens, beet greens are one of the best sources for potassium. They also contain vitamins A and K. Try adding beet greens as a filling for warm sandwiches in place of spinach or arugula.

Bok Choy

Like many leafy greens, the Asian vegetable bok choy is part of the cruciferous family. This means that it is packed with unique antioxidants that are known for their anti-cancer properties. Thinly slice bok choy, and add it to your salads, or stir it into a healthy vegetable fried rice .

Chard

Chard supplies vitamins A and K as well as magnesium. Chard ranges in color from true green leaves to stalks that are purple, pink or yellow that fade into dark green leaves. Chopped chard leaves are delicious when added to an omelet or sautéed with garlic and lemon for a quick side dish.

Turnip greens

Tender turnip greens are a source for calcium and vitamins A, C and K. They cook quickly so you can easily sauté them in garlic and olive oil for a healthy side dish, or stir the sliced greens into a vegetable soup about 5 minutes before serving.

Mustard greens

Mustard greens are similar to turnip greens in nutrition, offering calcium and vitamins A, C and K. These greens have a unique peppery taste that can add a whole new flavor to healthy dishes. Chop and sauté mustard greens with a milder green like kale to balance the flavor. Mustard greens are also delicious in Asian-inspired dishes like stir-fried minced pork or tofu with vegetables.

Shortcuts for Healthy Cooking

Shortcuts for Healthy Cooking

Cooking your meals gives you better control of your nutrient intake, but it can be time- consuming. Don’t give up! You can get wholesome, nutritious food on the table with these shortcuts for healthy cooking.

Prep when you return from the store.

As soon as you unpack your groceries, grab the cutting board, knives and storage containers. Half of cooking is preparation, and you can save time on a busy night by having your ingredients ready to go. It is true that some fruits and vegetables may lose nutrients when they are cut, but this approach is better than swinging in the drive-through when you are pressed for time.

Chop up bell peppers and onions to make fajitas. Make cucumber slices, carrot sticks and celery sticks to snack on with hummus or Greek yogurt dip. Chop up mixed greens and store them in a bowl for quick salads throughout the week. Cut broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts so you can quickly season and roast them for an easy side dish.

Rinse away sodium in canned foods.

Canned foods make cooking easier, but excess sodium in beans and vegetables can be a problem. Rinsing canned foods and draining the liquid can drastically cut the sodium levels. Research shows that rinsing canned beans can reduce the sodium content up to 40 percent.

Get a spray bottle for oils.

When heart-healthy oils are turned into a spray, they can be used in many different ways. Spray oils can be used to lightly dress salads, to coat vegetables before roasting, and to grease casserole dishes and muffin pans. Invest in a spray bottle with a pump that allows you to turn your favorite healthy oil into an easy-to-spray mist.

Buy pre-chopped toppings.

Toppings like nuts and dried fruits add flavor without excess calories when they are finely chopped and evenly distributed throughout your salad or side dish. Look for pre-chopped versions of these ingredients to save time during cooking.

Make the sides.

Side dishes provide an opportunity to boost your nutrient intake. If you are pressed for time, consider turning to a pre-made main course. Many delis carry pre-made burgers, veggie patties, and rotisserie chicken. Check ingredient lists to make sure these foods are not loaded with unhealthy ingredients, but otherwise, this little bit of help can save you time in the kitchen. Once the main course is taken care of, you can concentrate on making fresh greens, roasted vegetables and cold grain salads to keep your meals packed with nutrients.

Tuna and Chickpea Endive Bites

Tuna and Chickpea Endive Bites Recipe

When you need a healthy, filling appetizer or snack these endive bites are the perfect solution. They are low in calories while supplying protein and fiber. It’s a quick and easy recipe to serve for any occasion.

Yield: About 25 bites

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

2 (5 oz.) cans solid white Albacore tuna packed in water, drained

1 (15.5 oz.) can low-sodium chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

3 green onions, sliced

¼ cup chopped roasted red peppers

¼ cup chopped pepperoncini rings

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp chopped fresh dill

1/8 tsp fine ground sea salt

1 to 2 heads Belgian endive (25 leaves)

Directions

In a medium bowl, stir together the tuna and chickpeas until the tuna is broken into smaller pieces and evenly distributed with the chickpeas.

Reserve about 1 tablespoon of sliced green onions for garnish and place the rest in the bowl with the tuna and chickpeas. Add the red peppers, pepperoncini rings, lemon juice, dill and salt to the bowl. Stir well to combine all ingredients.

Place the endive leaves on a flat serving platter so that they curve up to create a cup. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the tuna and chickpea salad into each of the endive leaves. The amount will vary depending on the size of each leaf.

Sprinkle the reserved green onions over the plate before serving.

Nutrition information for 1 endive bite: Calories 32; Total Fat 0.9 g; Saturated Fat 0 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 5 mg; Sodium 114 mg; Carbohydrate 3.3 g; Fiber 1.2 g; Sugar 0.1 g; Protein 3.1 g

Ways to Hydrate

Ways to Hydrate

Hydration is important for almost every function in the body from your heart pumping blood to using your muscles for movement. Letting yourself get dehydrated can zap your energy and leave you sluggish and unmotivated. There is more than one way to give your body the fluid it needs. Use a combination of these foods and drinks to stay hydrated.

Water

Water is by far the best way to hydrate. While drinking too much can have a negative impact, sipping water throughout the day and drinking it with your meal is a great way to boost hydration and cut calories.

Sparkling Flavored Water

If you find plain water boring and have a difficult time cutting out sodas, try sparkling flavored waters. Look for calorie-free waters with natural flavors and no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. They can be a great substitute for plain water when you need something with a little flavor and fizz.

100% Fruit Juice

Choose your juices wisely, because many are high in calories. But this doesn’t mean that all juices are bad. Many 100% juices are rich in antioxidants, such as pomegranate juice and tart cherry juice. Tart cherry juice has also been associated with reducing muscle soreness. Keep servings small and use juice as a treat and a healthy way to to satisfy a sweet craving.

Decaffeinated Tea

Whether it’s a tall glass of unsweetened iced tea or a cup of hot tea, the main ingredient is water. Teas can serve as a source of hydration and make a good alternative when you get tired of plain water. For even more flavor, look for fruit and spice infused decaffeinated teas without added sweeteners.

Fruit and Vegetables

Hydration doesn’t only come from drinks. Many fruits and vegetables are mostly water. Berries, watermelon, citrus, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, radishes, and celery are just a few examples that are high in water content.

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